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A Cricketer on the TARDIS

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“I'll see you again, you two,” Martha promised.

Lilith saluted. “Hasta luego, Aunt Martha.” Martha laughed and shook her head before leaving.

“What was that for?” the Doctor asked.

“Spoilers, my dear father.” Lilith grinned.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and pulled a lever on the console. Alarms started to blare and the TARDIS spun and shook, and the two travelers were thrown onto the jump seat. Lilith swore loudly in Gallifreyan.

 

“What the hell?”

“Ah, stop it!” the Doctor shouted, pushing himself to the console. The TARDIS calmed down. “What was all that about, eh? Eh? What's your problem?”

“Right, just settle down now,” said a voice. A man wearing a cricket outfit appeared to be meddling with buttons and levers on the console. He bumped into the Doctor.

“Excuse me,” the Doctor mumbled.

“So sorry,” the man said.

They both froze and looked at each other. “What?”

“What?”

“Oh, this is freaking fantastic!” Lilith cackled.

“Who are you?” the man, the Fifth Doctor, demanded.

“Oh, brilliant.” The Tenth beamed. “I mean, totally wrong. Bit emergency, universe goes bang in five minutes, but, brilliant.”

“I'm the Doctor. Who are you?” Five repeated.

“Yes, you are. You are the Doctor.”

“Yes, I am. I'm the Doctor.”

Ten smiled even wider. “Oh, good for you, Doctor. Good for brilliant old you.”

Lilith tapped Five on the shoulder. He turned around and Lilith offered him his hand. “Hi, I’m—”

“Lilith?” Five asked.

Lilith furrowed her eyebrows. “You know me?”

“Of course I do! You’re the one who keeps saying you’re my daughter. Last time we met—”

Lilith held up her hand to cut him off. “Spoilers. Hasn’t happened for me yet.”

Five frowned and Ten lit up. “Oh, there it goes, the frowny face. I remember that one. Mind you,” Ten rubbed Five’s cheeks, causing Lilith to break into laughter again, “bit saggier than I ought to be. Hair's a bit greyer. That's because of me, though.”

Ten flipped a lever and pressed a button on the console before continuing. “The two of us together has shorted out the time differential. Should all snap back in place when we get you home. Be able to close that coat again. But never mind that. Look at you! The coat, the crickety cricket stuff, the stick of celery.” He trailed off. “Yeah. Brave choice, celery, but fair play to you. Not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable.”

“Shut up!” Five shouted and took off his hat. “There is something very wrong with my TARDIS, and I've got to do something about it very, very quickly, and it would help, it really would help if there wasn't some skinny idiot ranting in my face about every single think that happens to be in front of him!”

“Ha!” Lilith laughed. “I told you you’re a stick!”

Ten made a face at her. “Oh, okay. Sorry, Doctor.”

“Thank you.” Five turned back to the TARDIS.

“Oh, the back of my head!” Ten exclaimed. “Sorry, sorry. It's not something you see every day, is it, the back of your own head. Mind you, I can see why you wear a hat. I don't want to seem vain, but could you keep that on?”

“You’ve always been vain with that face,” Lilith muttered.

Five looked around, as if noticing the decor for the first time. “What have you done to my TARDIS? You've changed the desktop theme, haven't you? What's this one, coral?”

“Well…”

“It's worse than the leopard skin,” Five scoffed. He put on half moon spectacles.

“Oh, and out they come, the brainy specs!” Ten’s face lit up with glee. “You don't even need them. You just think they make you look a bit clever.”

“I knew it!” Lilith crowed. Both Doctors turned to look at her. She shrugged. “Well, I did.”

An alarm went off.

“That's an alert; level five, indicating a temporal collision.” Five ran over to the monitor It like two TARDISes have merged, but there's definitely only one TARDIS present. It's like two time zones at war in the heart of the TARDIS. That's a paradox. It could blow a hole in the space-time continuum the size of— well, actually, the exact size of…”

“Belgium?” Lilith said, incredulously, looking over Five’s shoulder.

“Well, that's a bit undramatic, isn't it?” Five muttered.

Ten offered Five his sonic screwdriver. “Need this?”

“No, I'm fine,” Five declined.

Ten put the screwdriver back in his pocket. “Oh no, of course, you liked to go hands free, didn't you? Like ‘hey, I'm the Doctor. I can save the universe using a kettle and some string. And look at me, I'm wearing a vegetable.’” He ended looking at the celery.

Five straightened up. “Who are you?”

“Take a look,” Ten said.

“Oh. Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes.”

“You're… Oh, no.”

“Here it comes. Yeah, I am.”

“A fan.”

“Yeah.” Ten nodded, and then it hit him what Five had said. “What?”

Lilith dissolved into giggles.

Something started beeping and Five went back to messing with the console. “This is bad. Two minutes to Belgium.”

“What do you mean, a fan?” Ten demanded, insulted. “I'm not just a fan. I'm you!”

“Okay, you're my biggest fan,” Five amended. “Look, its perfectly understandable. I go zooming around space and time, saving planets, fighting monsters and being well, let's be honest, pretty sort of marvelous, so naturally now and then people notice me. Start up their little groups. That LINDA lot.” He narrowed his eyes at Ten. “Are you one of them? How did you get in here? Can't have you lot knowing where I live.”

“Listen to me, I'm you,” Ten insisted. “I'm you with a new face. Check out this bone structure, Doctor, because one day you're going to be shaving it.”

“Um, Dad?”

“What?” both Doctors asked, and then looked at each other in surprise.

“The monitor’s glowing red,” Lilith told them. The cloister bell rang.

Five gasped. “The cloister bell!”

“Right on time. That's my cue!” Ten said. Lilith moved away to give them room as they both started running around the console throwing control levers.

“In a minute we're going to create a black hole strong enough to swallow the entire universe!” Five cried.

“Yeah, that's my fault, actually. I was rebuilding the TARDIS, forgot to put the shields back up,” Ten admitted. “Your TARDIS and my TARDIS, well the same TARDIS at different points in its own time stream, collided and whoop, there you go, end of the universe, butterfingers. But don't worry, I know exactly how this all works out. Watch. Venting the thermobuffer, drawing the Helmic regulator, and just to finish off, let's fry those Zeiton crystals.”

Five reached out to stop him. “You'll blow up the TARDIS.”

“No, I won't. I haven't.”

“Who told you that?”

“You told me that.”

The entire TARDIS filled with a bright white light, forcing Lilith to close her eyes.

“Supernova and black hole at the exact same instant,” Five breathed.

“The explosion cancels out the implosion,” Ten continued.

“Pressure remains constant.”

Ten grinned and winked at Lilith. “It's brilliant.”

“Far too brilliant,” Five said. “I've never met anyone else who could fly the TARDIS like that.”

“Sorry, mate, you still haven't.”

Five followed Ten around the console. “You didn't have time to work all that out. Even I couldn't do it.”

“I didn't work it out. I didn't have to.”

“You remembered,” Five realized.

“Because you will remember.”

“You remembered being me watching you doing that. You already knew what to do because I saw you do it.”

“Wibbly wobbly…” Ten said.

“Timey wimey!” they both finished. Ten went to high five him, but was turned down. Lilith snickered.

“Right,” Ten declared as another alarm sounded. “TARDISes are separating. Sorry, Doctor, time's up. Back to long ago. Where are you now? Nyssa and Tegan? Cybermen and Mara and Time Lords in funny hats and the Master? Oh, he just showed up again, same as ever.”

“Oh no, really? Does he still have that rubbish beard?” Five asked.

“No, no beard this time. Well, a wife.”

Five started to fade. “Oh, I seem to be off. What can I say? Thank you, Doctor.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll see you soon, Dad,” Lilith said with a smile.

“Until next time, Lilith.” Five vanished.

Ten flipped some switches and brought him back to return his hat. “You know, I love being you. Back when I first started at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young. And then I was you, and it was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted. I still do that, the voice thing. I got that from you. Oh, and the trainers. And,” he put on his specs, “snap. Because you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor.”

“To days to come,” Five said.

“All my love to long ago,” Ten replied.

The Fifth Doctor disappeared again.

“So,” The Doctor said after a moment, “looks like you’ll be running around my timeline at some point.”

“Ooh, that’ll be fun!” Lilith enthused. “I’ve always wanted to meet your fourth self.”

He laughed. Just as he pressed a button, there was the sound of a ship’s horn and a prow came crashing into the console room.

“What? What!”

He picked up a lifesaver that had fallen onto the grating. It said ‘Titanic’.

Lilith’s eyes widened as they met her father’s “Oh, damn.”